Hedge Funds Bet On Housing, Cohen Bids For LA Dodgers, David Nadel’s Outlook

Big Funds Build Case For Housing (WSJ)

Hedge funds run by Caxton Associates LP, SAC Capital Advisors LP, Avenue Capital and Blackstone Group LP have been buying housing-related investments, betting on a rebound. And formerly bearish research firm Zelman & Associates now predicts a housing pickup, as does Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Other investors seem to be making the same bet. Shares of home builders are up 30% since the end of the third quarter, as measured by the Dow Jones index tracking those shares, topping a nearly 10.5% gain for the Standard & Poor's 500.

CAXTON ASSOCIATES LP Cutting Buffett Helps Sequoia Fund Top Value Rankings (Bloomberg)

Sequoia Fund Inc., (SEQUX) recommended by Warren Buffett when it opened, beat the U.S. stock market over the past four decades, in part because a large piece of the fund was invested in his company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A). Heeding Buffett’s warning that Berkshire wouldn’t grow as fast as it once did, the managers of the $4.7 billion fund cut their reliance on the stock almost in half in 2010 and put the cash into companies such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX), a drug distributor. Sequoia is beating the pack again this year, gaining 14 percent through Dec. 27, better than 99 percent of value stock funds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “They have the kind of portfolio Buffett might have if he ran a mutual fund,” Steven Roge, a portfolio manager with Bohemia, New York-based R.W. Roge & Co., said in a telephone interview. His firm, which oversees $200 million, holds shares in Sequoia. Other well-known value investors, such as Seth Klarman, founder of Baupost Group LLC, a Boston-based hedge fund, and Robert Rodriguez, the longtime manager of FPA Capital Fund and current CEO of Los Angeles-based First Pacific Advisors, let cash build up when they can’t find enough attractive investments.

Hedge-Fund Millionaire Diggle Bets On Farmland (Bloomberg)

Stephen Diggle, who co-founded a hedge fund that made $2.7 billion in 2007 and 2008, plans to open his personal farmland portfolio to investors and start a fund that will trade life-sciences companies. Diggle will transfer the farm assets from his family office to Singapore-based Vulpes Investment Management, which he set up in April after liquidating his previous firm’s volatility (VIX) funds. Diggle’s family also holds “significant stakes” in life sciences, including biotechnology companies, which will be moved to a fund he plans to set up next year, the 47-year-old said. “Everything that we are investing in personally is available to investors,” Diggle said in an interview. “We have got capital committed, we are focused on a number of things where we think there’s a compelling opportunity to make money.”

Hedge-Fund Manager Steve Cohen Said To Be Bidding For Los Angeles Dodgers (Bloomberg)

Billionaire hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen is bidding for the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to a person familiar with the effort, his second try this year to buy at least a piece of a Major League Baseball team. Cohen, 55, who runs the $14 billion SAC Capital Advisors LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, is working with Steve Greenberg, a managing director at Allen & Co., and has hired the architectural firm Populous to look at the possible renovation of Dodger stadium, said the person, who was granted anonymity because the sale process is confidential. He’s also met with sports agent Arn Tellem, the person said. Tellem may end up running the team if Cohen is successful in his bid, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reported the story earlier. Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Cohen, declined to comment. Tellem and Greenberg didn’t return e-mails seeking a comment. Executives of Kansas City, Missouri-based Populous, whose offices are closed for the holidays, couldn’t be reached.

Top 10 TV Stocks Loved By Hedge Funds (Market Watch)

As a group, television stocks significantly beat the S&P 500 in terms of performance this year. The stocks averaged a return of more than 14% year to date, clearly above the S&P’s return of 3% in the same time period. Based on the transactions of nearly 350 hedge funds compiled by Insider Monkey, we present the list of top television stocks that hedge funds are buying like crazy…

David Nadel Of Royce Funds: A Look Back At 2011’s Global Market And A Bullish Outlook For 2012 (Value Walk)

Today, Royce Global Value Fund and Royce European Smaller Companies Fund will celebrate five-year anniversaries. With the ongoing European debt crisis, it seems hard to believe there is attractive value on the continent. However, Royce Portfolio Manager and Director of International Research, David Nadel, thinks that 2012 could prove to be a year when international equities come storming back.

Michael Mauboussin And Consuelo Mack (Frankly Speaking)

Earlier this month, Consuelo Mack interviewed Michael Mauboussin, Chief Investment Strategist of Legg Mason Capital Management. Mauboussin is also the author of More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places (Read my review here) and Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition. In this interview, Mauboussin discusses the importance of doing less, the roles of psychology, skill and luck in investing.

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